Friday, August 31, 2012

For Political Wonks

The liberal side of the media spectrum has been trying hard to tarnish Paul Ryan's speech at the Republican National Convention the other night by accusing the vice-presidential candidate of having lied about a number of claims he made in his acceptance speech.

Perhaps their foremost complaint was Ryan's assertion that despite candidate Obama's 2008 promise to keep a GM plant in his home town open for "a hundred years" the plant closed down the following year.

Obama's votaries among the pundits have been insisting that the plant closed before Obama came to office and therefore Ryan was distorting the facts to make Obama look bad in his speech.

Jim Geraghty at National Review sets the matter straight. It turns out that Ryan wasn't lying after all.

The liberal website ThinkProgress raised several additional objections to Ryan's speech, all of which are equally misplaced according to Avik Roy at Forbes. Among the accusations made by ThinkProgress are these:
Charge #1: Paul Ryan accused Obama of cutting Medicare by $716 billion, but Ryan’s own budget preserved those cuts.

Charge #2: Paul Ryan criticized Obama for ignoring the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission. But Ryan voted against those recommendations himself.

Charge #3: Paul Ryan blamed Obama for Standard & Poor’s downgrade of American government debt from AAA to AA+, but Paul Ryan is actually to blame because he resisted tax increases that would have closed the deficit.

Charge #4: Paul Ryan opposed the stimulus, but he lobbied for stimulus grants that went to his district.
Roy makes the case that none of these allegations are nearly as incriminating as those who make them would have us believe. They're either wildly overstated, they tell only part of the story, or they're otherwise misleading.

Those wonkish types who don't mind wading through the political tall grass should go to the link and check out Roy's essay.